As of the 1st January this year, only one type of whip will now be permitted at British Showjumping. After calls for tightened welfare standards across the sport, it would appear that measures are now being taken to address the use of whips and spurs and penalise incidences where both are used excessively.

The new rules address the type, length, material and handling of whips in British Showjumping and stipulate that ‘no substitute for a whip may be carried.’ If a whip is carried, it must be held by the handle with the handle at the top, and the contact area must be two fifths of the length of the whip and must be covered with a smooth pad.

As for the length, it should measure between 45-70cm and be ‘thick and padded’, which is deemed kinder on the horse. While you can still continue buying the whips of old, you will no longer be able to use them in competition.

It’s hard to deny these changes have largely come about due to ongoing public outcry at welfare standards in the sport, with excessive and sustained uses of whips and spurs being seen in competitive events. As public perception is paramount to the future popularity of equestrian sport, such concerns and criticisms couldn’t be ignored forever.

With many believing the previous rules were too lenient and that breaches weren’t sufficiently or consistently punished; the changes will help ensure tighter controls on the use of whips and spurs and greater deterrents to would-be rule breakers.

Spurs now have to be made out of smooth material and must be blunt or rounded, with an overall length of 4cm maximum for seniors and 2.5cm in pony competition.

We stock two whips that conform to the new BS 2020 standard, which are the Fleck Delta Pro Jockey Bat and the Fleck Jockey Race Bat. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with [email protected] and the team will respond.

Written by: Hannah